It’s No. 11 Georgia vs. No. 17 Mississippi State Saturday night at Sanford Stadium (7 p.m., ESPN) in a matchup that’s obviously huge for both teams.
Today, we’ll spend some time with Logan Lowery to talk about the visiting Bulldogs.
Lowery is a former colleague at Rivals who currently covers Mississippi State for the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal.
Read what he had to say in response to our five questions below.
UGASports.com: Explain what makes Nick Fitzgerald tick. We all know his abilities on the field, but what else can be said about the young man?
Lowery: “Fitzgerald certainly had some big shoes to fill when he took over as the starter last year following Dak Prescott's graduation. He had some maturing to do both on and off the field but earned the respect of his teammates through his physical play last season.
“Fitzgerald only received two scholarship offers (MSU, Middle Tennessee) in high school and plays like someone with something to prove. It's yet another one of Dan Mullen's success stories at quarterback.”
UGASports.com: Obviously, Georgia fans are very familiar with Todd Grantham. What’s been the biggest noticeable impact that he has made with the Mississippi State defense three games into the season?
Lowery: “The fact that Grantham is experienced and has a plan. Last year, MSU had a first-time coordinator in Peter Sirmon and were constantly out of position to make plays. If you need an example, watch any Louisville game this year and you'll see what I mean about Sirmon.
“MSU has faced three differing styles of offense through the first three games (Charleston Southern's triple-option, pass-happy Louisiana Tech and run heavy LSU) and have been very sound in every facet. The Bulldogs have many of the same players back on defense so Grantham's scheme this year has done them a world of good.”
UGASports.com: One of the biggest things that stood out in Mississippi State’s win over LSU was the way the Bulldogs’ offensive line dominated LSU’s defensive front. Break down this group.
Lowery: “Left tackle Martinas Rankin is one of the top o-linemen in the league and will be playing on Sundays for sure. Left guard Darryl Williams, the reigning SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week, missed the latter half of last season with a neck injury.
“MSU entered the season without a center that had ever snapped in a game. Elgton Jenkins, who last played the position in middle school, moved over to play there and has now started at four different spots along the line. Deion Calhoun is a second-year starter at right guard and Stewart Reese is a massive redshirt freshman working at right tackle.
“Through three games, the Bulldogs' offensive line has only surrendered one sack while paving the way for the SEC's top rushing and scoring offense.”
UGASports.com: Staying on the LSU game, how much did the margin of outcome surprise you?
Lowery: “I wasn't surprised that MSU won the game but I was shocked by the way it dominated the Tigers. The last three years prior to Saturday, the MSU-LSU game had been decided by five points or less.
“It was hard to really get a gauge on either team entering that game because neither had faced any stiff competition. State had played really well the first two weeks but after handling LSU the way it did prove those first two games weren't just a fluke against a couple of cupcakes.”
UGASports.com: Based on what you’ve seen from Mississippi State and what you know of Georgia, how do you see this game going down?
Lowery: “I haven't seen much of Georgia other than a few highlights here and there. It should be a physical game between two teams that like to run the ball downhill. Either team could win this game and it wouldn't surprise me.”